Following their decision last week to register and take part in up-coming bye-elections, Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party will lodge their application papers today, Friday, 25th November.
Last week’s decision to register was made in accordance with party members voting during last week’s specially called meeting. The party’s spoke person, central executive committee member, U Win Tin, spoke to Karen News.
“The NLD party is not yet a legal party. Previously, the government restrictions meant we refused to register [to contest the national elections in 2010]. But now they [government] have made changes to the law, we decided to register and take part in the forthcoming bye-elections.”
U Win Tin asked people to support the NLD’s decision and to get behind pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi political campaign.
Aung San Suu Kyi requested NLD party members to support and respect the party’s voting decision in spite of some members’ disagreement with the party’s leadership decision to re-enter Burma’s political landscape.
As many as 117 representatives from different state and regional NLD branch offices were invited to attend the meeting – according to a party source only 14 representatives abstained.
Most party representatives supported the registration of the party and for it to stand in upcoming election; however, representatives from Kachin, Chin, Mon, and Sagaing opposed the move.
U Win Tin acknowledged suggestions that the NLD decision to contest the up-coming bye-elections means that the NLD by being registered as a political party could be seen as accepting the 2008 constitution.
“It is likely we accept the 2008 constitution, but on the other hand we can use Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s and the party’s political power to make changes in the constitution through the parliamentary process – it could lead to a positive outcome for the country.”
Meanwhile, NLD insiders say Aung San Suu Kyi will start – what many say is long overdue – the process to reorganize the party by bringing in or promoting younger members to key positions and revamping the regional and state branches.
The NLD party was founded in 1988 and won the 1990 parliamentary elections, with a massive majority – winning 392 out of the 492 contested seats – at the time the ruling military dictatorship, the State Peace and Development Council, did not let the NLD form government.